The Hawaiʻi

State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse

Information Related to Hawaiʻi's November 6, 2018 State Constitutional Convention Referendum

Print News

Cocke, Sophie, ConCon measure finds little support among voters, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, November 7, 2018.

Blair, Chad, Wild Night On Mainland, But It’s Politics As Usual In Hawaii, Civil Beat, November 7, 2018.

Hawaii voters say ‘no’ to constitutional convention, Hawaii News Now, November 6, 2018.

Wiens, Richard, ConCon Is Gone Gone — Voters Reject State Constitutional Convention, Civil Beat, November 6, 2018.

Cocke, Sophie, ConCon opponents raise $740,000, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, November 6, 2018.

Awa, Brenton, Voters get to decide if there should be another Constitutional Convention, KITV4, November 4, 2018.

Cocke, Sophie, Hawaii voters to decide on constitutional convention option, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, November 4, 2018.

Eagle, Nathan, Hawaii Ballot Issues Draw $2.7 Million In Campaign Spending, Civil Beat, November 1, 2018.

Cocke, Sophie, Unions spend heavily against ConCon, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, October 31, 2018.

Hofschneider, Anita, What A New Hawaii ConCon Might Look Like, Civil Beat, October 31, 2018.

Wiens, Richard, Questions About The ConCon? We’ve Got Your Answers, Civil Beat, October 22, 2018.

Viotti, Vicki, Much achieved in last ConCon, held in 1978, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, October 21, 2018. This was a text box inside a larger “insight analysis” that is listed on this website under the Yes & No menu and Opeds submenu under Other.

Cruz, Catherine, Does Hawaii Need a Constitutional Convention?, Hawaii Public Radio, October 19, 2018.

Honore, Marcel, The ConCon’s Real Price Tag? That’s Still A Mystery, Civil Beat, October 19, 2018.

Blair, Chad, Civil Beat Poll: Voters Like The Idea Of A ConCon, They’re Just Not Going To Vote For It, Civil Beat, October 17, 2018.

Blair, Chad, Civil Beat Poll: Voters Want Term Limits For State Legislators, Civil Beat, October 17, 2018.

Hawaii coalition opposes constitutional convention, Maui News, October 16, 2018.

Eagle, Nathan, Here’s How The Top Contenders For Governor Shake Out On Key Issues, Civil Beat, October 15, 2018.

Hawaii Coalition Opposes Constitutional Convention, AP, October 13, 2018.

Mattson, Keith, and Colin Moore, A Citizens’ Jury Verdict On The ConCon, Civil Beat, October 12, 2018.

Cocke, Sophie, Constitutional convention in contention, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, October 12, 2018.

Schenfeld, Nikki, Voters to decide on Hawaii Constitutional Convention, KHON2, October 12, 2018.

Coalition Urges ‘No’ Vote on Con Con Ballot Question, Maui Now, October 11, 2018.  This is a Hawaii State Teachers Association press release reprinted as news.

Abercrombie, Hanabusa disagree on constitutional convention, Hawaii News Now, October 10, 2018.

Blair, Chad, Ad Watch: First TV Spot Says A ConCon Would Cost Too Much, Civil Beat, October 8, 2018.

Yerton, Stewart, If You Don’t Vote On Constitutional Questions, You’ve Just Voted ‘No’, Civil Beat, October 8, 2018.

Eagle, Nathan, Chamber Of Commerce Pours $600K Into Fighting School-Funding Measure, Civil Beat, October 1, 2018.

Dible, Max, Should Hawaii have a constitutional convention?, West Hawaii Today, September 23, 2018. Also published in Hawaii Tribune Herald, September 23, 2018 and Pacific Global News, September 24, 2018.

Epler, Patti, They’re Back: The Return Of Civil Beat Comments, Civil Beat, September 18, 2018.  Comments will be back, partly to facilitate a discussion about the upcoming state constitutional convention referendum.

Hofschneider , Anita, ‘Fragile Aloha’: Why Hawaii’s Last Constitutional Convention Was Important, Civil Beat, September 13, 2018.

Lovell, Blaze, Panel To Study Constitutional Convention Question Before Election, Civil Beat, September 5, 2018.

Civil Beat Staff, Hawaii Elections Guide 2018, Civil Beat, September 5, 2018: “A con con gives voters the opportunity to bypass the Legislature and elect delegates in order to convene and consider changes to the Hawaii Constitution.”

Cocke, Sophie, Opportunity to revise state Constitution on horizon, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 2, 2018. A comment from The Hawai`i State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse: “The $56 million figure is highly controversial and put out by a government agency, the Legislative Reference Bureau, controlled by state legislative leaders, who are the arch enemies of calling a convention. The last convention in 1978 cost $2.03 million, or $7,682,476 in inflation adjusted dollars. That’s less than a seventh the projected cost here. A competing set of cost estimates provided by Hawaii’s executive branch in 2008 estimated a maximum cost of $11,114,045 and possibly as little as a fourth of that.”

Lauer, Nancy Cook, Constitutional convention, tax increase for education on Nov. 6 ballot, West Hawaii Today, August 26, 2018.

Honore, Marcel, The Primary Is Over So What’s Ahead For The General Election?, Civil Beat, August 16, 2018.

Blair, Chad, Civil Beat Poll: Hawaii Voters Seem Ready For A Constitutional Convention, Civil Beat, May 25, 2018.

Gov. Ige Declares 2018 as Year of the HawaiianBig Island Now, February 18, 2018.

Blair, Chad, What A Constitutional Convention Might Mean For Hawaiians, Civic Beat, February 6, 2018. See also Waihee: If Con-Con Convenes, OHA is Dead, Hawaii Free Press, February 6, 2018.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs audit, Island Affairs KITV, February 1, 2018.

New year brings hope, challenges, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, January 1, 2018. In Press-Reader, p. A10. Save & Exit

Civil Beat’s legislative session poll, KITV, December 14, 2017. The video is here.

Blair, Chad, Civil Beat Poll: Power To The People — Voters Want More Control, Civic Beat, December 12, 2017.

Blair, Chad, Civil Beat Poll: Let’s Have A Constitutional Convention, Civic Beat, December 11, 2017.

Walden, Andrew, Con-Con: Referendum set for Nov. 6, 2018Hawaii Free Press, December 7, 2017.

TV and Radio Interviews

Note: Please also check the “events” tab for online forums.

“The Constitutional Convention Question,” The Rick Hamada Program, KHVH Radio, October 23, 2018. Interview and call-in with J.H. Snider.

Cruz, Catherine, Does Hawaii Need a Constitutional Convention?, Hawaii Public Radio, October 19, 2018.

Constitutional Convention debate, Hawaii News Now, October 15, 2018. The news anchor interview Colin Moore.

What Voters Should Know About The ConCon, Civil Beat Pod Squad, October 8, 2018. Civil Beat’s Chad Blair interviews Peter Adler. 12 minutes, 32 seconds. J.H. Snider comment: this is an excellent and brief discussion of the constitutional convention process and some of the arguments pro & con concerning whether to convene one.

To Have or Not to Have a Constitutional Convention, Lava 105.3, September 23, 2018. Interview with Peter Adler. 32 minutes. The best media interview to date providing an overview of the constitutional convention process and pro & cons.

A once per decade issue: Constitutional Convention, KITV4, September 20, 2018.  Length: 6:08. Features a former Lt. Governor, Duke Aiona (for) and Beth Fukumoto, a former state legislator (against).

Constitutional Convention / Taxing Investment Property for Education, PBS Hawai`i, August 16, 2018.56 minutes, 46 seconds. Interview with Peter Adler and Avi Soifer. Conversation ended at 25 minutes.

ConCon101 with J.H. Snider and Peter Adler, ThinkTech Hawaii, May 8, 2018.

About a one minute discussion at 28 minutes: Hawaii Elections 2018 with Colin Moore, ThinkTechHawaii, April 30, 2018.

Citizens’ Jury for the Constitutional Convention Ballot Question

Media Coverage

Mattson, Keith, and Colin Moore, A Citizens’ Jury Verdict On The ConCon, Civil Beat, October 12, 2018.

Cocke, Sophie, Constitutional convention in contention, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, October 12, 2018.


J.H. Snider Comment (update, October 21): I have come to the conclusion that I was mistaken in my earlier assessment below. I now see that this group discussion was a very valuable exercise in educating the moderators so that they could speak authoritatively and in understandable English about the upcoming referendum to the press and in other popular forums.  I was too hung up on the term “citizens’ jury” rather than the benefits of the process itself. I have also listened carefully to the most visible moderator in various public forums and now agree with his own assessment that the coalition has used his quote out of context.

J.H. Snider Comment (October 12): This was a helpful project, but I have some concerns.  The purpose of the jury wasn’t clearly stated. Was it to educate the jurors or the public? If the latter, which is what I infer, we should have been told whether the jury deliberations made a difference in the jurors’ opinions of the convention. If so, we would have had to know juror positions both before and after their deliberations. But the announced results only included juror positions after the deliberations.  And if the process was designed to educate the public, why wasn’t the process more transparent so the public could better evaluate it?

The nature of the juror selection wasn’t adequately clarified. At times, I heard that jurors would be selected who had an open mind.  But at least one juror, Ann Shaver, has been a longtime outspoken and visceral critic of constitutional conventions.

Was the nature of the jury more a debate or a public discussion? A jury composed of partisans would tend to operate as a debate, whereas a jury composed of undecideds would tend to operate as a discussion.

What was the nature of the experts who spoke to the jury? We have their names and affiliations but not whether they were chosen to represent supporters or opponents or some type of neutral, expert opinion.

What was the nature of the two organizers of this citizens’ jury? Were they chosen to balance each other or was there some other selection principle?  Colin Moore, one of the two organizers of the jury, has been cited since September 30, 2018 on the website in a way that strongly suggests he is a convention opponent. Moore also belongs to the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, a union strongly opposed to calling a convention. In 2008, during Hawaii’s last constitutional convention referendum, UHPA, like HSTA, was an affiliate of the National Education Association, the leading funder of the No Campaign.

Using the phrase “citizens’ jury” implies certain procedures that this deliberative process failed to implement. Perhaps another term, such as “forum,” would have been a more accurate characterization of the process as implemented.

It is odd that the released Citizens’ Jury statement lacks a date. That could imply that its authors seek to reserve the right to modify it in the future.

A cloud of secrecy enveloped this project after it was publicly announced on September 5. There may have been good reasons for this secrecy. If so, they should have been clearly and publicly explained at the time this project’s findings were released.

ThinkTech Hawaii Three-Part Series

Overview Comment: A useful overview of Hawaii’s constitutional convention process, issues, politics, and history.  Unfortunately, it is marred by minor factual inaccuracies.

1. Hawaii’s Big Choice Part 1: understanding the Con Con Ballot Questions, ThinkTech Hawaii, October 1, 2018.
Moderator: Peter Adler
Panelists: Avi Soifer and Rebecca Soon
Comment: Rebecca Soon made material errors in describing the powers of the legislature over the constitutional convention process. Unfortunately, she is not the first pundit to make such errors in a public forum.

2. Hawaii’s Big Choice Part 2: A Look at Possible Con-Con Proposals, ThinkTech Hawaii, October 1, 2018.
Peter Adler
Panelists: Colin Moore and Kitty Yannoe
Comment: Colin Moore was on solid ground when he relied on survey and other scientific data when making his political generalizations. But when he relied on anecdotal evidence he veered into the realm of conjecture and spin without alerting audiences to the difference or apparently being aware of it himself.

3. Hawaii’s Big Choice Part 3: Highest Hopes, Worst Fears!, ThinkTech Hawaii, October 1, 2018.
Peter Adler
Panelists: Brendon Lee and Neal Milner
Comment: The conversation wasn’t helpfully moved forward by reliance here and in a previous part on the concept of “The Temper of the Times.” Without a clear definition, this concept is merely a truism, as every political action can be viewed as a reflection of its times. The discussion of the big and dark money issue was glib at best.


Corruption Reports

State Integrity 2015: Hawaii gets D+ grade in 2015 State Integrity Investigation; Lobbyists thrive in land of sunshine, Center for Public Integrity, November 9, 2015. Note: this is the most recent State Integrity report published by The Center for Public Integrity.

J.H. Snider Newspaper Comments

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Comments (in reverse chronology)

Honolulu Civil Beat Comments (in reverse chronology)

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